My Way of Wing Chun

The Learning Curve

Summary of Siu Lim Tao Movement Sequence

Summary of Siu Lim Tao movement sequence. The table summarizes Siu Lim Tao movement sequence for all three sections (for both hands). Each movement spelled in Simplified Chinese with Cantonese pronunciation and English translation. Please keep in mind that the movement sequence might be different from lineage to lineage.

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An Interview With Grandmaster Yip Man from 1972

If you are a beginner when it comes to fighting, that concept itself for you is likely no more than throwing a punch here or giving off a kick there. However, if you manage to have someone who cares to explain to you the essence of Wing Chun, it is highly likely that within 5 minutes, you’ll learn about the unique way in which a Wing Chun practitioner pushes enemies back. You will also learn about the standards used in Chi Sao (“sticking hands”), and the secret behind defeating enemies using the shortest path and the fastest of speed.

That is what Wing Chun is all about- using simple, practical moves to defeat enemies. Over a mere 23 years, the aging Master Yip Man has made Wing Chun hugely popular in Hong Kong, and has recruited many enthusiasts under his wing. Surely there’s ample reason behind the popularity of the sport and the diligence of many of his students.

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Siu Lim Tao Explained

Unimpressive as it may look, the essence of Wing Chun is actually embedded in Siu Lim Tao form. You cannot possibly execute the other forms without a firm foundation of Siu Lim Tao, which outlines all the principles of Wing Chun. If you don’t understand Siu Lim Tao, you will never understand Wing Chun. If you rush through it while learning, you will pick up bad habits. The bad habits remain with you all through your Wing Chun life.

Siu Lim Tao contains all the basic hand movements used in Wing Chun: Taan Sau (攤手), Wu Sau (護手), Fuk Sau (伏手) and Bong Sau (膀手). Practicing Siu Lim Tao achieves a number of  goals: it defines the centreline and teaches students where their hands should be relative to it, reinforces the correct elbow position, facilitates force generation in short range Wing Chun movements and teaches students how to execute Wing Chun movements correctly.

The meaning of Siu Lim Tao name can be translated as follows: Siu means little and in this case means minimal. Lim (sometimes pronounced as Nim) means thought (idea) and Tao means way. So together in this context, the whole name of Siu Lim Tao means a way to minimize your thought. The meaning is to try to empty your mind and concentrate on your practice. Therefore, Siu Lim Tao is both internal and energy training. It is also Gung Lik (功力) training. In Cantonese, Gung means work and Lik means strength. Together they mean to work on your strength or building your strength. Siu Lim Tao is the basic form of the Wing Chun Kuen system. Without practicing Siu Lim Tao, your Wing Chun skills will not be good.

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Choose Your School Wisely

In this post I am not going to tell you what are the good things you should look for when choosing a school/Sifu. Instead, I want to tell you about potential “smells” that you should be aware of when signing up. One of the reasons why I decided to write this post, is the fact that in this day and age, the world of Wing Chun (in fact, the world of any other sport) is a very commercial environment. Some Wing Chun schools can really go the distance in their efforts to milk extra $$$ from students.

I have visited quite a number of Wing Chun schools and did a lot of digging and reading around. This process can be daunting and time consuming sometimes. For a young Wing Chun practitioner, it can be hard to see the bigger picture immediately without doing preliminary research,  I hope the current post can save you a little bit of time by shedding some light on how some Wing Chun schools operate today.

The “smells” that I mentioned earlier (or the warning signs in other words), might help you to identify whether the school you chose is a money trap. Please keep in mind, that the following is my personal and subjective opinion and you do not have to agree with me.

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Споры и Разногласия в Вин Чун – История Вильяма Ченгa

Споры и Разногласия в Вин Чун – История Вильяма Ченгa

Рассказывая о себе ранее, я упоминал, что провел шесть месяцев (перед тем как перешёл в другую школу) в одной из Австралийских школ Кунг Фу по Вин Чун Куен. Эта школа следует направлению Вин Чун William Cheung или Вильяма Ченга (ВЧ далее), и преподаёт так называемый Традиционный Вин Чун. Эта школа также играет роль штаб-квартираы Вильяма Чунга.

По мимо практики Вин Чун в школе ВЧ, я также много читал и исследовал об эволюции и распространении Вин Чун за последние 50-60 лет, начиная с линии Ип Манна. Я был новичком в Вин Чун, и я хотел узнать как можно больше об этом стиле. Во время чтения и изучения про Вин Чун, время от времени я сталкивался с различными спорами/разногласиями о ВЧ: некоторые называли его гением, тогда как другие считали его самозванцем. Люди перетирали прошлое не-подетски на разных форумах.

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What It Really Takes to Become Good In Wing Chun?

Lets not worry for the moment what “good” actually means…

The short answer is – practice. Yep that’s right. Good old practice and many many repetitions. I think, many people these days obsessed a little bit too much in their search for the most experienced and the most credible Sifu. Sifu that can prove the purity of his lineage, tracing back directly to Yip Man.

IMHO, no Sifu, not even Yip Man him self can help you if you do not practice. This applies to everyone without exclusions. There is no magic wand, shortcuts or secret behind door techniques – just practice, practice and again practice. Yip Man himself can be teaching you but, if you do not practice diligently, then the time spent will not yield any results.

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Moving Away from “Traditional” Wing Chun

In About page I have mentioned that I have spent several months (six to be more accurate) in one of the Australian Wing Chun schools, that follows W. Cheung (WC hereafter) lineage, and teaches the so-called Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). After the six months of training, when my subscription at the school has ended, I decided to move on. In the following text, I explain my reason for the departure from WC’s school.

The main reason for my move were the high fees. When I decided to undertake Wing Chun training, I chose the school of WC because I got influenced by the marketing – direct disciple of Ip Man and the man who trained Bruce Lee. I thought: I cant really go wrong with this, so long story short – I signed up. I remember my first time when I met WC and shook his hand I thought: “Ooh wow, I actually met the world known grandmaster, direct disciple of Ip Man”.

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My Take on William Cheung Wing Chun Controversy

In my About page I mentioned that I spent six months (before moving away) in one of Australia’s Wing Chun schools that follows the W. Cheung (WC hereafter) lineage and teaches the so-called Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). The school I am talking about is actually WC’s head quarters in Melbourne, Australia.

So, who is WC as we know him? He is a well-known persona in the Wing Chun world today. He has published many books, has done and is still doing Wing Chun seminars all over the world and has setup his own Wing Chun association with schools, franchises & affiliations in many countries around the world.

The big question here is:
How did WC succeed becoming such a prominent (some may say “controversial”) figure in Wing Chun?

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How and Why I Decided to Study Wing Chun

I was longing to study Chinese Martial Arts since I was a kid. Originally, I come from Eastern Europe, and we as kids, were greatly influenced by old Chinese martial arts movies about Shaolin temple and of course Bruce Lee.

Is it enough wanting to study martial arts because of some movies? I guess not. But during that time as a kid, I knew only one thing – it looks cool, it is highly efficient and I want to do it.

As I grew older, I learned to respect not only the fact that its “looks cool”, but I also started to see the philosophical side of things. The importance of body and mind connection. It was not just about looking cool anymore, I started to recognize the efforts needed to master a style or at least to become comfortable enough in it and concepts one learns along the learning way. Some of the things that impressed me is the amazing control over the body one has, the discipline and the dedication.

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Footwork

Many people today practice Wing Chun, Chi Sau (sticking hands). However, they only stand in the same position and they do not move their feet. In this way it is very easy to lose a lot of energy, because when your opponent is very strong and they are attacking you, you cannot move to avoid their power.

The most common way we do to avoid an opponent’s power is to change your technique such as changing from the Bong Sau to Tan Sau or the other way round. Of course, there are other techniques you can use by yourselves but because you do not move your stance, you have to use more strength. Therefore we see many people, who do Chi Sau just like they are fighting. With this kind of skill, only the stronger and bigger guy will win easily. Even if you beat up your opponent, you can also suffer injury, so this is not the best way for Chi Sau.

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